How To: Measure your property for structural fumigation

Measuring your property for structural fumigation

Structural fumigation with Vikane Fumigant is one of the most effective solutions to control drywood termites and other pests in residential and commercial properties. This is because the fumigant it’s a gas, which if properly circulated can penetrate 100% of your structure vs liquid treatments which are more of a localized solution. However, the success of the fumigation along with its cost is mainly based on one thing: correctly measuring its volume.  For this reason, it is very important that you know how to calculate it so that you can ensure that you are getting a proper bid.

Step One: Measure the structure

The first step and the most important is to correctly measure all of the walls (entire perimeter) of the property. This measurement has to be taken from the exterior part of the eaves, as this is the extent to where the fumigation tarp (short for tarpaulin) will be falling. You can use a notebook to create a diagram and record your measurements as they are being taken. The requirement measurements that you will need to take are the height, width and length of each of the walls. In addition to the walls, the majority of the properties have a sloped roof (with an attic space) that has to be taken into consideration. For this you will have to measure its height at the highest point – normally the roof ridge – and divided by two, it will give you a good average height. In some properties, another area that has to be taken into consideration is any crawl spaces, if your property happens to be on a raised foundation. For this, you can measure the crawl space from the joist to the floor to get its height.

Step Two: Make the calculations

After gathering all of the measurements required from your structure, you will have to calculate the volume of it. For this you can use different mathematics volume formulas, here are the most common ones. If your structure doe not fall under one shape, it will have to be broken down into sections like a cube or a rectangular prism for the main house, pyramid for the roof (or using its average height as it will be demonstrated on the examples below), cylinder for a circular chimney, and so on. Once you calculate the volume for all the sections, they can be added together to get the total volume for the structure.

Common Formulas for Volume:

  • Cube                               =          Side x Side x Side
  • Rectangular Prism        =          Length x Width x Height
  • Cylinder         =          Base Area ( [Pi x Radius]2 ) x Height
  • Pyramid          =          [  Base Area (Width x Length) x Height ] / 3

Examples:

  • An easy example of a small rectangular house would be:
    • 40 ft wide x 60 ft long x 12 ft height (Wall + Attic) = 28,800 ft3
      • For perimeter measurements
        • Use the exact measurements you obtained
      • For wall height
        • Regularly is 10ft per floor on residential structures but will vary from structure to structure more so in commercial properties. Measure the height from the floor to the top plate to obtain this measurement.
      • For attic height
        • Attic height of 4 ft on the highest point, divide this by 2 to obtain the average height and you get 2 ft
      • Total height
        • Add 10 ft (normal height per floor) plus the 2ft average height of the attic adds up to 12ft
      • For bidding purposes, the measurements are converted into M’s or thousands. In this case, it will be a 29M as it always rounds up for fumigation purposes.
  • Another similar example, but now with a 4 ft crawl space.
    • 30 ft wide x 55 ft long x 16 ft height (Wall + Attic + Crawl Space) = 26,400 ft3
      • For perimeter measurements
        • Use the exact measurements you obtained
      • For wall height
        • Regularly is 10ft per floor on residential structures but will vary from structure to structure more so in commercial properties. Measure the height from the floor to the top plate to obtain this measurement.
      • For attic height
        • Attic height of 4 ft on the highest point, divide this by 2 to obtain the average height and you get 2 ft
      • For crawl space height
      • Total height
        • Add 10 ft (normal height per floor) plus the 2ft average height of the attic, plus the 4ft for the crawl space height adds up to 16ft
      • For bidding purposes, the measurements are converted into M’s or thousands. In this case, it will be a 27M as it always rounds up for fumigation purposes.

If there are any detached structures repeat the steps until you get the volumes of all the properties that are going to be fumigated for the control of drywood termites or other wood destroying organisms. Do not deduct any of the space occupied by machinery, furniture nor commodities.

Step Three: Discuss it with your technician

Using this measurement (or the one obtained by your technician), along with the different properties of the terrain that is going to be worked on and the level of difficulty, a price is calculated. The day of the fumigation this measurement along with multiple factors like humidity, wind speed, temperature and others are used to calculate exactly the amount of fumigant that is going to be required to successfully exterminate all active infestations. Make sure that the measurements are the same to the ones you obtained, and if they are not having him explain how he obtained his numbers can likely clear it out. This way you will ensure that you will get a job that will exterminate the infestation properly.

Do not take chances and let a professional do everything for you, it will save you headaches in the future as well as money.  Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (619) 421 – 2101 or send us a message online so that a representative can contact you.

Author Information:

Gilberto A. Cortez | Licensed Inspector
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